Automatic shares for Royal Mail workers infuriates postal unions

ROYAL Mail’s 150,000 British employees will be automatically handed free shares worth around £2,000 when the company is privatised, the government announced yesterday.

The move was timed to infuriate the Communication and Workers Union (CWU), which will tomorrow decide whether to ballot its members on strike action in an attempt to stop the £3bn sell-off.

Postal workers who object to the privatisation will now have to actively opt-out of the free share offer when the company makes its stock market debut this autumn.

Business minister Michael Fallon said he had tried to create a scheme which is as “attractive, inclusive and as easy to join as possible”.

The CWU insisted its members would not be “bought off” by the free shares, which it argues would come at the cost of long-term job security for postmen and women.